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Yahoo Streamlining Mobile Experiences, Discontinues “Smartphone App”
Until a couple of months ago, Yahoo had a range of mobile products and experiences in the market: Go, oneSearch, oneConnect and mobile web. With the launch of Yahoo Mobile earlier this year the company has been seeking to bring more consistency to the mobile user experience. Earlier today TechCrunch reported that Yahoo had “abandoned” Blackberry in favor of the iPhone:
Score another one for the iPhone. Yahoo is abandoning its mobile apps for the Blackberry and other smartphones in order to focus more on its recently relaunched iPhone app. For every other phone, it is concentrating development efforts around the mobile browser experience.
When I read the headline it didn’t make sense; Blackberry has a larger base and marketshare than the iPhone. Why would Yahoo walk away from it? Later TechCrunch updated and clarified the story after speaking with Yahoo.
I spoke to Yahoo this afternoon myself to get some clarification and this is what I discovered:
- Yahoo remains committed to developing for Blackberry and other mobile platforms
- The “smartphone app” (which I haven’t used) had a different look and feel than the iPhone app and Yahoo Mobile (mobile web) experience
- Yahoo said that it could still potentially launch a “Yahoo Mobile” app for Blackberry and other platforms (look and feel like the iPhone app)
- The company also said that it may develop “vertical apps” for Blackberry and other mobile platforms as well (e.g., Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Messenger)
Yahoo didn’t abandon Blackberry, it decided to discontinue the “smartphone app” that was in beta for Blackberry. Again, that app offered a very different look and feel than the new Yahoo Mobile iPhone app and mobile web experience at new.m.yahoo.com:
It’s worth noting that Google has developed a number of apps/capabilities that have yet to make it onto the iPhone: barcode scanner, Latitude (though it’s coming) and Starmaps. It’s also fair to say that mobile strategies and tactics are evolving very quickly with the rapid development of the mobile market itself.